TECH: Go online to help with your holiday party planning

The Crown Palace preps for an all-white decor party. Submitted photo

KULJEET KAILA
VANCOUVER DESI

Planning a holiday party in advance, last minute or looking for the final touches – chances are you can find anyone, anything and any service online these days. From the comfort of your desktop at work or your iPad in bed, you can pretty much book it all – the venue, catering, finding decor ideas, limo service, creating videos and music playlists, and much more! Here are some great sites, services and online ways to get things done.

1. Venue: Most local venues will have pictures, others will have some info on food available, but few places have complete menus, booking request forms and exact details of hall sizes, picture galleries and details like the Crown Palace in the centre of Surrey/Delta does. Their website not only provides an inside look at their venue and details on the sizes of the halls but this party palace also has all of its 15 plus menus online and in detail. It makes it easy to decide the fine details if you are planning a corporate, family gathering or even an annual event for the hockey team.

2. Entertainment: These days you can look over performances by doing a simple search of dance groups or entertainers on YouTube. A couple of companies that hire and provide talent for holiday parties include www.funnybusiness.ca, which will help you find the right comedian and assist you in hiring them for the night. Or how about some magic? www.philipandhenry.com is another company where you can find a magic show for any age group and event type. The idea behind both these resources is that they are a trusted way to get the right entertainment for the event and work with professionals with experience. They can also get a good sense of your event in a simple phone or Skype chat.

3. Music, videos and photo galleries: Showing videos from the year or a photo gallery on the big screen is a great part of any event. Some events require background music or a DJ. Either way – you can download, stream or create playlists in advance for the evening. However, make sure the venue of choice or your home – wherever the party may be – is equipped for such features. Here’s some helpful advice from the owner of Crown Palace, Sukh Mann: “Most venues that accommodate holiday parties should have big screens, projectors, DJ and tech services to help clients with special requests. However you want to make sure when you are booking to ask the venue in advance to have certain tech services set up and available. Sometimes it’s as simple as having the right cable to hook up a laptop or the right speaker systems. But these days we also get requests to have a screen set up to show everyone’s updates via a Twitter feed that evening.”

4. Food: Catering companies are also taking orders online and some trustworthy names in the industry such as Nando’s Canada take orders online. Owner of the South Surrey/White Rock location, Robin Rathor, says they cater events for corporate companies during lunch and dinner. “Most of our clients will hold their events at home or in the office and we at Nando’s have all the catering tools to make for an easy experience. You want to make sure you are ordering food from a place that can not only cater fresh, hot/cold foods but also set it up and provide all the necessary tools like trays, salad tongs, refreshments and all of it is easy cleanup after. Some restaurants will cater but the food may arrive spoiled, spilled and without proper serving tools.”

5. Décor: Decorating is probably the one thing you don’t want to leave to the last minute. However local decorator and interior designer, Sangeeta Kaila, who owns Posh Planners, says in her industry there are some ways to get last-minute requests through. “There are some websites we use that can rush orders through for particular items and we also know local stores and other decorators where we can get items for our clients faster than they would on their own.” Hiring a decorating company seems to be the best way to go. Having online samples and pictures to email to your decorating will cut down on time-consuming visits and allow any decorator to get to work and make sure the party’s mood is set.

A look inside one of Silver Star’s deluxe limousines. Submitted photo

6. Transportation: #Taxi or Operation Red Nose have great features, but local limo company Silver Star Limousines has gone the extra mile. Owner Amit Kang explains why it’s been so important for them to go hi tech: “Sometimes people don’t have too much time to call or want more details. We have everything online from detailed pictures of our fleet to an easy, order form online. Technology has made it easier for our customers and our booking department. Exact details makes all the difference and that’s where you can establish trust with consumers, too.”

Kuljeet Kaila is a technology and social media expert who writes for Vancouver Desi. Email her at kuljeetkaila@gmail.com





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